The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported 19 hepatitis C cases in 19 dialysis clinics. There were 36 cases of hepatitis C between 2014 and 2015 in 19 dialysis clinics, and nine of those cases were transmitted person-to-person. They report that lapses in infection control procedures are to blame for the rise of hepatitis C cases.
Infection control procedures include injection safety, cleaning and disinfecting, and hand hygiene.
The CDC said the report “underscores the widespread potential for patients to acquire serious infections during dialysis care. [Hepatitis C] transmission can be prevented when proper infection prevention and environmental disinfection practices are consistently followed.”
Hepatitis C infection can cause life-long liver problems, and dialysis is a life-saving treatment for those with kidney problems.
The CDC suggests that facilities need to improve their care for better infection control along with hepatitis C screening.
The CDC has the following recommendations for dialysis patients in order to reduce hepatitis C cases:
- If you do not know whether you have or might have hepatitis C, ask your health care provider.
- Ask your dialysis provider if they follow CDC recommendations, whether you need to be tested for hepatitis C, and what can be done to protect you from hepatitis C infection during dialysis treatment.
- Read educational materials for patients on dialysis safety and hepatitis C.